#BlogTour 23rd April 2018
I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources and Author, Roger Bray for including me on this fantastic #BlogTour.
All Aboard!! This is my Stop!
The author, Roger Bray has gifted us with a beautifully written story.
The characters were captivating and the story was very powerful, beautiful and moving.
But before we get into the book, lets have a little bit first about the author.
Roger Bray on Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roger-Bray/e/B0725KF3NF
In this own words:
I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.
Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.
Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.
So here we are, two books published and another on track.
Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.
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About the Book
A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter.
Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew.
A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it.
No celebrity, thanks not required.
But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.
Again, as with previous book reviews I didn’t delve too much into reading about the book, as I like to be surprised as I start to turn the pages. I prefer to read a book based on just what I see on the cover. Never judge a book they say, but I am a real sucker for a beautiful external imagery and this book drew me in with just its cover alone.
I was drawn in by the beautiful, yet sad image on the front. At that point I wasn’t sure why the picture of the woman cradling the baby was so sad, but I got the feeling that this book would be a bitter-sweet read. I wasn’t wrong. Here in all its glory is my review.
The first few pages introduces us to one of the main characters. Ben Davies is a very likeable character from the start and I was taken aback by the first few chapters when we witness him getting hurt during a routine shop trip. From here we are introduced to him as a character and with the right wording we read more about this deep, slightly broken man. He has a lot of heartache in his past but he is still cheerful in his resolve and he has a big love for motorcycles.
With the help of his friend, Paul we are told the story of Ben and the people who he has lost and the disasters he has witnessed. The story started off at a slow pace but with every turn of the page I found myself liking Ben that little bit more. One of the good things about this book is how believable the characters are. There are people who I love, like Ben and Maggie, but then there are people like Vince who are very easily disliked. The writing flows so well and I found myself reading it a steady yet fast pace. I was eager to see how the lives of these characters intertwined and I was not disappointed by the final conclusion.
Touching on some very traumatic events, we are torn from one emotion to the next. This book is both unbelievably raw beautiful. It delivers bitter-sweet moments which sweep you along with every word. Character interaction is paramount in this book and it helps to create a real person in our minds. Each character is different and the conversations between them are both realistic and engaging. There are some wonderful dialogue moments between Anna and Paul as they discuss Ben and what he means to them. From this dialogue we learn more about this wonderfully kind man. Each word spoke volumes and I lapped up each chapter greedily.
I love when a book switches between characters and situations; this not only creates more interest but it helps to see points of view from all angles and builds a better story. This book does just that. Not only are we introduced to the likeable characters, but we are also shown the protagonists too. This helps us to create a clear picture of all people involved and to understand their interests, whether Good or Bad.
If there is one thing I would have liked then it would have been to see more of Vince’s character; maybe see more of his past and why he was the way he was, but this didn’t take away from the book at all.
If I were to describe this book in 5 words I would say; Beautiful, Harrowing, Touching, Thrilling and Traumatic.
Towards the end of the book, I shed a tear. It was a very welcome beautiful read. It touches on some sensitive subjects, which are difficult to read at times but it says a lot for the author when he can word it in a way that still pulls you on to read despite the traumatic moments.
Its difficult to write a review, want to rave about it but still try to not give ‘spoilers’ away. Roger Bray did a fantastic job creating this story; it was a real page-turner and I look forward to reading more of his work.
I would recommend this book to everyone. The drama is slow-building but this only helps to create a fantastic story. The dialogue and fantastic descriptive writing creates a great reading experience with every turn of the page.
5 out of 5